by Jim Nintzel
The NY Times reports that Tucson author Lydia Millet was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her short-story collection, Love in Infant Monkeys.
The Pulitzer committee notes:
Also nominated as finalists in this category were "Love in Infant Monkeys," by Lydia Millet (Soft Skull Press), an imaginative collection of linked stories, often describing a memorable encounter between a famous person and an animal, underscoring the human folly of longing for significance while chasing trifles.
From the NYT review:
Lydia Millet’s stories uniformly begin with arresting lines, all of them guns on the wall, waiting to go off. “When a bird landed on her foot the pop star was surprised.” “The dog was serious, always had been.” “I knew a great man once.” High stakes, yes, but also the promise of a bit of fun, a promise that this collection rarely forgets.
“Love in Infant Monkeys” is Millet’s first story collection (after six novels), and it centers on the interactions between celebrities and animals. But of course it’s really about plain old humans — life lurks in the civilian underworld, it’s clear. We may get David Hasselhoff’s dog and his walker, Noam Chomsky and a rodent cage, Thomas Edison and the elephant he filmed being electrocuted, but these setups are often decoys; the narrative mostly belongs to those beneath the headlines.